Above: Governor Phil Bryant and Director Tate Taylor speak with press following the announcement that NBC Universal will film a movie about life of James Brown in Mississippi beginning this Fall. 

JACKSON – Gov. Phil Bryant, film director Tate Taylor and state officials announced today that an upcoming movie by Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment on the life of musician James Brown will be filmed in Mississippi.

Mississippi native Taylor, director and screenwriter of The Help, which was also filmed in Mississippi, will helm the James Brown project for Universal. The movie is currently untitled.

“This announcement is very exciting news for our state. I am proud Universal Studios has chosen to shoot this film in Mississippi, and I am even more proud that Mississippi’s own Tate Taylor will be the mastermind behind it,” Gov. Bryant said. “Under Tate’s direction, The Help and its cast went on to win numerous awards, and it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. I have no doubt his creative spirit will once again deliver a top-quality film.”

“Not only am I excited to bring such economic stimulus to my state, but also to showcase our beautiful Mississippi to the world,” said Taylor. “Every nook and cranny of our state is visually unique in its own way, and as Mississippi was an undeniable character in The Help, it will be even more so in this film about James Brown. With continued hard work by all Mississippians, I foresee many productions planting a flag here in the future.”

Filming of the James Brown project is scheduled to take place in Jackson and Natchez this fall over a 60-day period, with an additional 10-14 weeks of pre- and post-production. The producers have committed to working with the state’s WIN Job Centers to hire extras and qualified crew members.

Figures from the Mississippi Film Office, part of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division, show Mississippians received more than $1.3 million in wages during the filming of The Help. Additionally, nearly $7.2 million was spent in the state on the film’s production. The overall estimated economic impact from the film was $18 million – $20 million.

“In addition to the excitement an announcement such as this generates, I am equally as excited for the jobs and economic impact a project of this magnitude will have on our state’s communities,” said MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. “Cast, crew and extras eat in local restaurants and shop in local stores. They stay in hotels and rent houses and apartments and cars. Much like The Help, this film will help spur economic growth in our local communities and will once again position Mississippi as a prime location for filmmaking.”

Additional details regarding the James Brown project will be forthcoming as they are made available. In the meantime, to learn more about the Mississippi Film Office, available film incentives offered by the state and more, please visit .


The Mississippi Film Office, part of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division, has been an integral part of the state’s economic development and tourism efforts since 1973. In addition to recruiting film projects to the state, the film office provides location scouting, logistical guidance, and research services. Through grants and other support, the film office sponsors film festivals and educational seminars, both in state and out of state. The Mississippi Film Incentive program is one of the most competitive in the country.